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Will the Return of Christ actually be Christ Himself? Scripture indicates that:
If anyone should say, Lo, here is Christ … believe it not. – Matthew 24:23
Knowing this, imagine if someone inside her home heard a neighbor yelling, “Here is Christ on the clouds!” Should she go outside to confirm it — or follow scriptural guidance, which says “believe it not”? It seems if Christ knew He would return on physical clouds, He would not have given this warning, because it would only confuse those who took it literally. He did, however, give the warning. Why? Perhaps Jesus wanted to tell us that He, Himself, will not return.
In fact, Christ declared that those who would overcome the trials of the end days would receive His new name:
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God … and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. – Revelation 3:12-13
This shows that not only will Christ not come in His own name, but those who try to come in His name will deceive many.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. – Matthew 24:5
Clearly, no one, not even Christ Himself, can come in the name of Christ. Anyone doing so would be false. Of course, Baha’u’llah does not do this. He does not claim the name Jesus Christ nor claim to be the person Jesus Christ. Instead, He claims to be the Return of Christ because He is the Return of the Spirit of Christ in a new name, just as Christ prophesied.
Interestingly enough, Baha’u’llah’s name can be found in the Bible. Just as Christ is a title, which means holy one or anointed one, the name Baha’u’llah is a title — it means the glory of God or the glory of the father. The Biblical prophet Ezekiel, one of the Jewish exiles taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, saw visions of God one day while walking near the Chebar river.
Now it came to pass . . . as I was among the captives by the River Chebar . . . I saw visions of God. . . . This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. – Ezekiel 1:1, 28
Ezekiel had his vision in the very place, nearly 2,300 years later, where Baha’u’llah declared His mission to the world, while an exile from His native Persia. Ezekiel further explains this glory of the Lord as a person when he relates:
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters . . . and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar . . . And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. Ezekiel 43:2-6
Ezekiel describes the “glory of the Lord” coming by way of “the gate”. This prophesy puzzles many people, until they realize that the forerunner to Baha’u’llah was named the Báb, a title that means “the gate”. And if the water of life symbolizes the “Word of God”, then the “noise of many waters” represents the revelation of life-giving words that flow from His mouth or “voice”.
Many other Biblical passages support Baha’u’llah’s declaration. Multiple volumes of scholarly books detail and define the prophecies that preceded this new and yet ancient Faith. But some Christians still fear this claim of Baha’u’llah’s. In tomorrow’s essay, we’ll address those fears by referring directly to the Bible’s warnings and the Baha’i teachings
Read the next article in the series: Christ’s Warning – the Anti-Christ
Read the previous article in the series: The Nature of Christ’s Return